Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime - KNIFE CRIME BILL GOES TO COMMITTEE
4 June 2008
KNIFE CRIME BILL GOES TO COMMITTEE
The CRCVC is very pleased to announce that Private Member's Bill C-393 has passed second reading in the House of Commons by a vote of 140-116. It will now go to the justice committee for review making it one step closer to becoming law. The bill was created by Leeds-Grenville MP Gord Brown in memory of Andy Moffitt who was stabbed to death on the eve of Christmas Eve almost 10 years ago when he innocently attempted to break up an argument at an Ottawa bar. He was posthumously awarded the Governor General's Award for Bravery.
If passed, the bill will:
- Create a mandatory minimum sentence for carrying a criminally concealed weapon, including a knife, with an escalating sentence for repeat offences.
- Require such sentences to be served consecutively to other crimes committed at the same time or while on parole, and require the convicted offender to serve one-half of the sentence -- instead of the current one-third -- before being eligible for parole.
- Create a minimum mandatory sentence for manslaughter arising from the use of a knife equivalent to the current requirement for deaths caused by firearms.
- End the current practice of rewarding persons denied bail because of past criminality or breaching bail extra pre-trial custody "credit" -- currently two or three times time served -- at time of sentencing.
- Authorize the National Parole Board (NPB) to provide victims with information pertaining to offender conduct while in custody relevant to their safety should parole be granted.
- Provide the NPB with authority to prevent offender abuse of scheduling and adjournment of parole hearings -- done to frustrate victim participation as authorized by Parliament.
Andy's family is thrilled that the House of Commons came together to allow this important piece of legislation to pass second reading. "It's a piece of justice for Andy," said his mother, Paulette Moffitt. "His spirit was with us today." They hope it will bring justice to other victims of knife crime in Canada.